How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Even if You Don’t Have Time to Cook

Photo: BakedByMelissa.com

In my mind, I’d have perfectly planned a delightfully kitschy St. Patrick’s Day party, complete with pots of gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins, frothy pitchers of green beer (or fizzy, green Sprites), and a soundtrack blasting the auto-tune version of “Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama” news segment.

You know, anything that’d make a true Irishman cringe.

Unfortunately, my regularly scheduled life got in the way, keeping me from going truly tacky with the day meant to honor one of Ireland’s patron saints. There’s something about skipping out on a holiday that doesn’t sit well with me (maybe it’s my aforementioned propensity toward embracing kitsch).

Considering the demands of work, classes and extracurriculars, I have a feeling I’m not alone. Dates just creep up on you, right?

Thankfully, there are a ton of companies who thrive on making clover-colored desserts and potato-laden dishes to satiate our need for last-minute celebration. Here are just a few of your options for St. Patty’s Day:

 

  • Shamrock Shake — McDonald’s bizarre seasonal milkshake has a cult-like following, and it’s not offered in all stores, which makes snagging one as hard as, well, finding a four-leaf clover. Thankfully, the shake’s legion of fans track which eateries are currently serving the drink on this website, saving you some legwork.
  • Bennigans — Come on, Irish fare doesn’t get any more authentic than the Turkey O’Toole! Okay, so a turkey sandwich with Swiss on a pretzel roll isn’t exactly a classic Irish dish, but the chain does offer some interesting eats. You can also order the Emerald Isle Club — corned beef, roast beef and turkey smothered in Irish whiskey sauce and piled high on a pretzel bun — or an Irish Chicken Melt (grilled chicken topped with creamy spinach and bacon on a garlic roll).
  • Corned Beef & Cabbage/Shepherd’s Pie/Bangers & Mash — Most pubs serve this classic fare year-round, so you better believe those dishes will be heavily featured tonight. I have yet to find a major chain offering ‘em, but if I do, I’ll let you know.
  • Baked by Melissa — Go for a bite-sized confection worth savoring. These miniature cupcakes feature green vanilla cake with chocolate or vanilla frosting, topped with shamrock and gold dust sprinkles.
  • Grocery store finds — Just swing by your nearest grocery store for a trifecta of Shamrock-tinted treats: Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, green Jello and food coloring (add a few drops to beer or a light-colored soda for a festive drink).
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Delish shared this St. Patty’s-themed menu, which includes everything from corned beef sliders to lamb stew.
  • Sprinkles cupcakes — Right around St. Patrick’s Day you can order a Belgian dark chocolate cake (dyed green, natch) with Baileys Irish cream cheese frosting.

 

Do you have any other fast food finds to add to this list? Comment or send a tweet to @collegiatecook.

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